Saudis are about to lose the war against Yemen
When Mohammed bin Salman, sixth and favourite son of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, launched Operation Decisive Storm against the Houthis in Yemen in 2015 he expected the war to be won in a matter of weeks. He had every reason to be confident. Ground forces from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Academi (formerly called Blackwater) took part in the invasion.
The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including aerial refueling and search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots, plus the U.S. Navy provided a blockade of the Yemeni coast.
And if that wasn't enough, the Saudis cut a deal with al-Qaeda, because the Houthis were a common enemy.
However, an investigation by The Associated Press found the coalition has been paying some al-Qaeda commanders to leave key cities and towns while letting others retreat with weapons, equipment, and wads of looted cash.
Hundreds of al-Qaeda members were recruited to join the coalition as soldiers, the report said.
Key figures in the deal-making said the United States was aware of the arrangements and held off on drone attacks against the armed group, which was created by Osama bin Laden in 1988.
Except for arms shipments from Iran, the Houthis had no allies. It was supposed to a walk-over.
Instead it has become a disaster for Saudi Arabia, and yet another political and diplomatic embarrassment for the U.S. Everyone involved is looking for a way to extract themselves from this conflict while still saving face.
Except for the Houthis.
The Houthis have been on the offense for nearly two years now, and are in the process of capturing Marib, the Saudi-puppet government’s last major stronghold in northern Yemen. Marib also commands Yemen's small oil-producing region, which makes it critical.
The Saudis have been forced into peace talks with the Houthis, but are still trying to dictate terms. You don't dictate terms to enemy who is winning.
What's more, most of the Saudi allies, such as Egypt, have long since left the war. The Saudis replaced those troops with mercenaries.
The Coalition was also able to hire mercenaries from Reflex Responses, a private company connected to Erik Prince, the founder of the private company known as Blackwater.
Isn't it interesting that wherever you find evil being done in the world, Erik Prince is usually involved?
To make matters worse for the Saudi coalition, they weren't all on the same page. UAE, the Saudis biggest ally, supported a separatist group in south Yemen that ended up being very popular in the region, and at times actively fought against Saudi-backed forces. The situation in the non-Houthi region is deteriorating.
The UAE-backed separatists in Yemen have declared a state of emergency across the southern provinces including the disputed port city of Aden. The city is supposed to be the interim capital of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government in exile in Riyadh...
Citing local sources in Aden, the Yemen Press Agency reported that hundreds of protesters closed the area around the May 22 Stadium and demanded improvements in basic services such as electricity, water and oil derivatives. They were demonstrating for a third straight day. Some are reported to have set fire to government buildings and burned cars in the streets.
Congress, after discovering that they bet on the wrong horse, is trying to find a way out of it's involvement in this fiasco.
The US House of Representatives approved a measure on Thursday that would force an end to maintenance and intelligence support for Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes against Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
Lawmakers voted 219-207 to advance the measure, which was introduced by Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.) and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. The heads of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), also co-sponsored the measure.
This certainly looks good, and it's a long overdue win for the progressives, but at the same time Congress also passed this amendment.
But unlike Khana’s amendment, Meeks’s contains loopholes the White House can exploit in order to perpetuate current operations. The provision Meeks and his colleagues have introduced is especially lenient to the White House’s current approach to the war.
...These caveats leave open the door for the Biden administration to continue its tolerance for what many experts consider “offensive” action. In February, the president announced an end to American assistance of “offensive” attacks on Yemen, yet U.S.-backed Saudi warplanes have still conducted airstrikes on the country, and the White House has remained silent on the kingdom’s blockades of Sana’a airport and Hodeidah seaport.
Around a quarter of a million people have died in this pointless war.
This is looking a lot like Afghanistan. Eventually there will be an ugly end to this ugly war, and the U.S. will be on the losing side again.